Services celebrating the life of June Cope, 91, of Ada will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at Criswell Funeral Home in Ada. Her nephew, the Rev. Mike Taylor, will officiate. Burial will follow at Rosedale Cemetery in Ada. The family will receive friends from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday at Criswell Funeral Home.
June passed away Monday, Jan. 23, 2017, in Muskogee. She was born Oct. 3, 1925, in Stonewall to Richard F. (Papa) and Dicey Adeline Ray Maxberry. She attended school in Byng, where she learned her love of basketball and played under Coach Bertha Frank Teague. She married Harrison Cope Dec. 24, 1942. She received her bachelor's degree in education from East Central University and a master's degree in both psychology and nursing from the University of Oklahoma.
June held various jobs before earning her teaching degree, including building airplanes during World War II and nursing. She started teaching in Dickson, then moved to Okemah, where her energy was tested by serving as an English II teacher, counselor and 4-H sponsor. On top of these duties, she reinstated the high school girls basketball program by coaching both the high school and junior high girls basketball teams. She left Okemah to work at Eastern Oklahoma State College as dean of students.
June's love of nursing led her to complete her master's degree in nursing and take a position teaching nursing at East Central University, but in 1985 she was recruited by Connors State College, where she established the nursing degree program and served as the director of nursing. She was instrumental in getting the program accredited in 1988. While she was the director of the program, June held a 100 percent graduation rate, and 100 percent of her students passed the nursing boards. Even after her retirement in 1994, the Connors program still maintains a graduation and boards rate in the high 90s, is considered one of the best programs in the state and is now one of the most significant degree programs at CSC. The program was her pride and joy.
June was an active member of Beta Sigma Phi and belonged to the National League of Nursing, the Retired Oklahoma Educators Association and the First Baptist Church in Ada.
June is survived by her three children, Reba Flanders and her husband, Dan, of Okemah, Dr. Joe D. Cope and his wife, Cathy, of Bixby and Connie Muse and her husband, Bill, of Muskogee; six grandchildren; 7 1/2 great-grandchildren; three great-great-grandchildren; her sister, Lavona Wood-Farr of Sarasota, Florida; numerous nieces and nephews; and other extended family and lifetime friends.
June was preceded in death by her husband, Harrison; her parents; and all but one of her 11 siblings.
Bearers will be Daryl Flanders, Harrison Cope, Devin Flanders, Dalton Flanders and Chase and Jake Moritz. Honorary bearers will be Donald Price, Charles Price, Wid Cope, Dr. Carl O. Westbrook, A.D. Stone and Dr. Gary Updike.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the American Heart Association, Memorial and Tribute Processing Center, P.O. Box 1653, Topeka, KS 66601-1653, or any other charity of your choice.
Published on January 25, 2017